Frequently Asked Questions
As herbal medicine is a holistic approach to healing, it can be used to improve health generally and, therefore, the body’s ability to heal itself, which will be of use in most health conditions. However, commonly helped conditions include:
– Skin complaints such as eczema, psoriasis and acne
– Digestive problems such as IBS, reflux and indigestion
– Hormonal imbalances, PMS and menopausal problems
– Stress, anxiety, depression, fatigue and insomnia
– Hypertension and varicose veins
– Asthma, allergies and recurrent infections
To become a qualified Medical Herbalist entails a three- or four-year degree course that covers the study of clinical medicine, differential diagnosis, herbs and traditional and modern ideas of health, and includes a minimum of 500 hours of supervised clinical practice.
A Herbalist will not just treat the symptoms you are suffering from, they will try to get to the root of the problem to find a long-term solution to any illness. You will receive treatment tailored specifically to you and your health and two patients with the same symptoms could receive completely different herbal remedies. You will also be encouraged to learn to understand your body and how best to maintain your health. In addition, Herbalists are trained to ensure that the herbs you take are safe for you and that the remedies used are of a high quality from reputable suppliers. Although many herbs are completely safe to take without advice, some are not appropriate in all situations/conditions and others should only be taken following advice from a qualified Medical Herbalist. If you are taking other medications, you should always get advice from a Herbalist or your GP.
Although both involve the use of herbs and a holistic approach to healing, they have very different approaches to diagnosis. Western Herbal Medicine is based on Western diagnosis of disease and the traditional healing that has been used in Europe for many years, and will use familiar terms when referring to illness. While Chinese Herbal Medicine is based on an entirely different system of diagnosis that assesses the chi in the body. The herbs used in Western Herbal Medicine are mostly those found growing in Western Europe (with the exception of a few very effective herbs that have been imported from North America, China and India). Chinese Herbal Medicine uses herbs and some animal parts from China.
No. Again, Homeopathy shares a holistic approach to healing with Herbal Medicine. However, in Herbal Medicine, liquid plant extracts or dried herbs are used to heal and stimulate healing, while in Homeopathy, extremely dilute solutions of herbs, minerals, animal parts or chemicals are thought to stimulate the body to heal itself according to a principle of “like treats like”.